Google have added two new features to their Analytics tool. The first measures social media interaction whilst the second measures page load speeds. These are two areas that we know Google are keen to include in their search algorithms. Page speed is an important issue for any website owner. The new tool added to Google Analytics makes it easy to see at a glance how a page is performing over time.
It’s easy for website owners to become complacent over issues such as page speed. You visit your pages and all appears well. They load quickly and with little drama, so why worry. However, at different times of the day, and on different days of the week, the story could be very different. Whilst the speed loading data isn’t comprehensive, you will be able to see at a glance if there are regular periods when your pages are loading slowly. You will also get an idea if one or more pages are loading far slower than others. This could indicate a page coding error, or a heavy graphics influence that may need looking into. Users are looking for fast page loading times – Google Analytics will prove to be a valuable tool for measuring your page loading speed.
The second tool looks at social media engagement. Although strongly influenced by Google 1+ data, it does provide valuable insight into the source of your traffic. The Social Visitor Flow sector allows you see at a glance how much traffic and engagement your pages gain from individual social media sites. You can also see at a glance which content is being shared on a regular basis – this is a good indicator of the type of content visitors are looking for – a good place to start if you’re running out of ideas for fresh content.
Google Analytics is by no means a comprehensive analytics tool. However, as a free resource, it does provide almost all the information a website owner needs. In fact, most website owners only use 10% of the data available. Spend a little time learning more about Google Analytics and you’ll be surprised how this free tool can help you improve your website. You can read more on the Page Speed tool here and the Social Media tool here.